House of Common’s ‘Justice Committee’ has opened an inquiry on the probate registry. The deadline to respond with written evidence is 22nd January 2024.
The Probate Registry has been experiencing significant delays. There are wider concerns about how effectively beneficiaries, executors and the bereaved are supported through the process and protected from rogue traders. The inquiry will take evidence on capacity, resources and delays across the probate service, and the impact of digitisation and centralisation, including the effectiveness of the online probate portal.
The inquiry is interested in people’s experiences of applying for probate including how the administration of probate could be improved for people who are already coming to terms with the loss of a loved one.
HMCTS have also released a fees consultation that proposes to increase probate fees to £300 per grant application from the spring and then by inflation every two years. This consultation is open until 22nd December 2023. Details can be found here: Implementing increases to selected court and tribunal fees (publishing.service.gov.uk).
The Law Society will be responding and will reiterate Irwin Mitchell’s stated position that the government should implement a minimum service level standard for individual grant applications, whereby if the service drops below that standard on an individual grant application, then the grant application is automatically reimbursed a percentage of the fee.